A ‘Big Price’ to Be Paid

Monday, April 9, 2018Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 9.35.54 AM

Good Monday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump promised a “big price” to be paid for what he said was a chemical weapons attack that choked dozens of Syrians to death. A top White House official said the administration would not rule out a missile strike to retaliate against the Syrian government.

  • Coming just days after Mr. Trump said he wanted to pull the United States out of Syria, the attack threatened to change the president’s calculus on Syria, possibly drawing him deeper into an intractable Middle Eastern war that he hoped to leave.
  • John R. Bolton takes over as the president’s third national security adviser Monday. In a world of carrot-and-stick diplomacy, Mr. Bolton is a stick man: I don’t do carrots.

  • As Republican leaders scramble to stave off a Democratic midterm wave, a strategy is emerging on the right for how to energize conservatives: warn that Democrats will immediately move to impeach Mr. Trump if they capture the House.

  • A day before Mark Zuckerberg is due to testify before Congress, Facebook plans to begin notifying users who were affected by Cambridge Analytica’s data collection. The Times has already spoken with some people whose data was taken.

  • As Mr. Trump moves to fulfill one of the central promises of his campaign— to get tough on an ascendant China — he faces a potential rebellion from a core constituency: farmers and other agricultural producers who could suffer devastating losses in a trade war.
— The First Draft Team
On Washington

Judge’s Death Gives Trump a Chance to Remake a Vexing Court

Judge Stephen Reinhardt was seen as a major influence on the liberal wing of the Ninth Circuit and a talented and articulate legal protector of liberal views.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt was seen as a major influence on the liberal wing of the Ninth Circuit and a talented and articulate legal protector of liberal views. J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

In the spring of 2014, a friend tried to nudge Judge Stephen Reinhardt, then an 83-year-old liberal stalwart on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, into stepping aside from full-time duties so President Barack Obama could nominate a successor.
The friend, Erwin Chemerinsky, now the dean at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, said he had gently suggested to Judge Reinhardt that he and another longtime liberal figure on the San Francisco-based court make way while Democrats still had the power to assure that jurists with a similar philosophy would take their place. Judge Reinhardt swiftly rejected that notion and stayed on.
Now Judge Reinhardt, who died this past week at age 87, could very well be replaced by a nominee chosen by President Trump. The president suddenly has a chance to seat a judge with a markedly different judicial outlook, giving conservatives a greater voice on the liberal-leaning court, which has been a particular thorn in Mr. Trump’s side.
Read more »
Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection administrator. Six of his efforts to delay or roll back Obama-era regulations have been struck down by the courts.

In His Haste to Roll Back Rules, Scott Pruitt, E.P.A. Chief, Risks His Agenda


Courts have found his orders on lead paint, pesticides and other issues to be poorly crafted, and have struck them down.

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, who is expected to announce on Monday that he is running for the United States Senate against Bill Nelson, in Doral, Fla., last month.

Florida’s Governor, Eyeing Senate Run, Offers Hope to an Unsteady G.O.P.


Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, is expected to announce his candidacy for the United States Senate in a midterm election year that could favor Democrats.

Ralph Norman, a South Carolina congressman, at a campaign rally in 2017. He came under criticism after placing a gun on a table at a discussion with constituents on Friday.

South Carolina Congressman Pulls Out Gun at a Meeting With Voters


The lawmaker, Representative Ralph Norman, put his gun on a table during a meeting with constituents to show that firearms were not dangerous.

Administration officials said the United States government had been working to lay the groundwork for a meeting between President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, but would offer no details about it, such as where it might take place.

North Korea Said to Offer Direct Assurance It Will Discuss Denuclearization


The gesture appeared to confirm that Kim Jong-un intends to participate in an unheard-of meeting with President Trump about his nuclear program.

Fire inspectors sifted through the wreckage of a Trump Tower apartment a day after a fatal fire on the 50th floor.

Art Collector Dies in Trump Tower Home He Couldn’t Sell


Todd Brassner lived alone amid a collection of 100 vintage electric guitars and artwork by Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Jack Kerouac and others.

President Trump tweeted on Sunday morning that he and President Xi Jinping of China will “always be friends.”

Amid Fears of Trade War, Trump Predicts China Will Relent


President Trump tweeted that he and President Xi Jinping of China would “always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade.”